Pakistan

Today the mighty Indus river has all but ceased flowing to the sea, as upstream dams and irrigation withdrawals have reduced it to less than one-half-a-percent of its flow at the start of the 20th century.

One of the venues of the first ever polycentric World Social Forum will be Karachi.

WSF to be held in a country under a dictatorship? “If one starts looking for an ideal country with democratic governance, you might not be left with many choices”, says Karamat Ali, Director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), an NGO based in Karachi.

KARACHI: Hundreds of fishermen at the “Fisher people’s
Assembly” Wednesday demanded the government to provide
basic facilities to fishing villages of the coastal
areas.

Au Pakistan, Asma Jehangir, l’une des défenseurs des droits humains les plus connus et respectés au monde, a récemment été arrêtée et molestée par les autorités gouvernementales. L’arrestation eut pourtant lieu au cours d’une manifestation pacifique d’une communauté de pêcheurs, qui devait être brutalement interrompue par la police qui en a aussi profité pour incarcérer le leader, Mohammad Ali Shas. Ainsi, pendant que le général président Parvez Musharaf continue d’obéir au gouvernement américain dans sa guerre contre le terrorisme, des communautés de pêcheurs vivent des moments difficiles : l’eau et ses produits se font de plus en plus rares dans le pays, mais rien n’est fait pour remédier un tant soit peu à la situation.

Bagdad, en février 1955 : l’Irak, Etat alors client des Britanniques, et la Turquie, alliée des Américains, ont signé un Pacte bientôt élargi à l’Iran (où la CIA avait fait tomber le progressiste Mossadegh), au Pakistan, et à ses architectes, la Grande-Bretagne et les Etats-Unis.

A great beginning has been made. For the first time, a
process of reconciliation has been initiated over the
most divisive issue of Kashmir, with the reunion of
divided Kashmiri families after five long decades.

I have received two annual reports on the state of
human rights. One is by the National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC) on India and the other by the Human
Rights Commission of Pakistan on its own country. The
difference between the two is that ours has an
official stamp in the sense that the funding comes
from the exchequer. Pakistan’s is run by voluntary
organisations.

THE acquittal of five of the six accused in the
Mukkhtar Mai rape case, and the final one’s reduction
of sentence from death to life imprisonment, has
created several effects, and highlighted several
issues, none of them pleasing or positive.

“Two or three years after the partition of India and Pakistan, the two governments remembered that inmates of mental asylums should also be switched. Meaning, all mentally retarded Muslims languishing in Indian asylums should be sent to Pakistan and those Hindu Sikhs in the mental asylums of Pakistan should be sent to India. Several high level intellectual conferences were held and finally a date was fixed for switching the mentally disabled”. Thus begins a famous short story ‘Toba Tek Singh’ written by a renowned writer of his times, Saadat Hasan Manto.

« Deux ou trois ans après la partition de l’Inde et du Pakistan, les deux États se sont souvenus que les personnes internées dans les asiles d’aliénés devaient également changer de place. Autrement dit, tous les musulmans souffrant de déficience mentale qui se languissaient dans les asiles indiens devaient être envoyés au Pakistan, et tous les sikhs hindous dans les asiles d’aliénés du Pakistan devaient être envoyés en Inde. Plusieurs conférences de haut niveau intellectuel ont eu lieu, et on a fini par fixer une date pour le transfert des personnes atteintes de handicaps mentaux. » Ainsi commence Toba Tek Singh, nouvelle bien connue d’un auteur célèbre en son temps, Saadat Hasan Manto.

LAHORE, October 29: General Pervez Musharraf is acting
like the proverbial cat among the pigeons.

LAHORE: Reports that one man died recently at a private torture cell in the city, proves that the state has failed in stopping human rights violations, according to a statement by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). Tahir Mohammad Khan, the HRCP chairperson, and Hina Jilani, the general secretary, said on Wednesday that if such terrible crimes were taking place in the Punjab capital, the situation in smaller towns and rural areas could easily be imagined. A HRCP fact-finding team visited the Naulakha area where two brothers, Farman and Rizwan, who were detained at a (...)

Strong winds greeted us in Ibrahim Hyderi, a coastal village of fisherfolks on the outskirts of Karachi. This was the second day when the fisherfolks had been advised not to go out in the sea for threats of a possible cyclone.

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights on Thursday approved the draft of a bill against honour killings. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2004, which deals with cases of honour killings, was approved under the chairmanship of Rai Mansab Ali Khan, a member of the National Assembly, in Parliament House. The chairman remarked that amendments were being proposed because of a spate of honours killing and other crimes committed in the name of ‘karo kari’ and ‘siyah kari.’ He said loopholes in the existing legislation were preventing honour (...)

Northern Areas comprises of five districts namely
Gilgit, Ghizer, Diamer, Skardu and Ghanche. These were
independent valleys ruled by the local Rajas or Mirs.
During the nineteenth century, these areas were
subjugated by the Dogra rulers of Kashmir and were
integrated in the State of Jummu and Kashmir.

LAHORE, May 31 (OneWorld) - The custodial death of a
Christian accused of blasphemy in Pakistan last week
has highlighted the harassment of religious
minorities, who often face attacks from fanatics and
apathy from authorities.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Afsheen was just nine years old
when she was married to a man four times her age to
pay for a crime she did not commit.

ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: Human Rights Watch executive director Brad Adams has said the military has an "excessive role" in Pakistan, which ultimately "leads to human rights violations". Speaking at a press conference on the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan premises on Saturday, Mr Adams expressed concern over the state of human rights in Pakistan, particularly about the deteriorating rule of law, government’s increasing intolerance of press freedom, arbitrary arrests and disregard for the due process of law. Mr Adams, who is on a visit to Pakistan, saw an inconsistency in the (...)

Whenever a nerve-racking crime against women is
reported, there is some protest by the saner elements
for a few days, and then it subsides till a new
tragedy jolts us. Never before have the women of our
society found themselves so brutally victimized and
helpless as they are today.

A debate has started; both in Pakistan and India, over
the kind of relationship the two countries should
evolve, after long decades of hate-hate relationship.
Focusing on the Joint Press Statement and
understanding reached at Islamabad, the debate is
confined to the prospects of the resolution of the
Kashmir question, without in fact allowing a greater
room for reflection on how and what. While evaluating
the main thrust of the ongoing debate, this author
will place the debate in the much wider context of
Indo-Pak relations and South Asian fraternity.

Games are being played around normalisation of
relations between India and Pakistan, despite a lapse
of six months when Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
offered a hand of friendship to Pakistan during his
marvelous speech in Srinagar. Things did move but at a
disappointing pace, even though Prime Minister
Zafarullah Khan Jamali reciprocated his counterpart’s
gesture by offering some confidence building measures
that failed to move New Delhi on a fast track. Now the
12-point point package announced by the Indian
government, that also includes PM Jamali’s points, is
being taken by Islamabad with the similar disdain. Why
aren’t the two sides coming closer to talks?

Quetta, été 2003 - Quelque temps après l’attaque du Hazara Imam Bargah, une mosquée chiite du centre de la capitale de la province du Baloutchistan, au sud-ouest du Pakistan, à environ 60 kilomètres de la frontière afghane.

Après les attentats du 11 septembre 2001, le général-président pakistanais Pervez Moucharraf est devenu l’un des plus précieux alliés des Américains dans la coalition contre le terrorisme, notamment avec sa collaboration aux opérations militaires en Afghanistan. Or, le soutien inconditionnel que les États-Unis ont apporté au régime, la traque menée au réseau Al Qaïda et les actions contre les talibans ont plutôt contribué à une victoire inattendue des partis religieux au Pakistan.

If only a tiny fraction of social spending reaches the needy, at least it is doing some good, instead of defence spending that often literally ends up in smoke.

The war in Iraq is over and Saddam Hussein is either dead or on the run. Iraqis are welcoming American troops with open arms. U.S. President George W. Bush stands vindicated. Time to celebrate?

WASHINGTON: Speakers at a one-day conference on Pakistan on Wednesday found the country economically fragile, home to violent and terrorist movements and insufficiently equipped to guard its nuclear assets or stop them from falling into other hands.

During the last decade, the militant movement in the disputed Indian territory of Kashmir has gone through several phases - what began as a secular movement for democratic self-determination (whether to be part of India, Pakistan, or an independent state) has now taken on militant religious overtones. The silver lining in these dark clouds is the local organizations working for peace, dialogue, and reconciliation - unfortunately, they have their work cut out for them.

While all eyes are focused on the possibility of war against Iraq, India-Pakistan relations continue to deteriorate, despite the withdrawal of troops from the borders. Few are prepared to meet the eventuality of a spark igniting a prairie fire.

According to reports from India, the jihad in Indian-held Kashmir is being internationally funded by expatriate Kashmiris, and Muslims in general who sympathise with the Kashmiri people and are offended by the atrocities committed by the Indian army in the region over the last 12 years.

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